How Your Diet Can Affect Fertility

Many people are simply unaware of the substantial impact the foods they consume can have on their ability to conceive. Of course most of us, at this point, have heard that we should all be eating diets which contain considerably less fat, salt and sugar than the typical American diet currently does, but we may not realize how much deeper that advice really goes. The food we eat on a daily basis has a major effect on our reproductive systems-both male and female.

When our bodies are out of balance, infertility can result. Studies have shown that by replacing the vital nutrients our bodies are lacking, infertility can be completely reversed in some cases, and that the foods we eat have an incredible impact on both the health and the quality of our eggs and sperm. Remember, healthy eggs and healthy, vital sperm not only allow you to conceive, they create a healthy baby and reduce the possibility of miscarriages and birth defects.

What Does My Body Need for Optimal Fertility?

Whole foods are essential for a healthy body, healthy fertility and a healthy baby. These whole foods are foods that are not processed or refined, and contain as few added ingredients as possible. Whole foods are typically whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, limited lean meats and fish and non-homogenized dairy products-in other words a diet which much more resembles that of our ancestors than our traditional American diet does. A diet which is full of whole and unrefined foods as well as lots of dark green and yellow vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds contain lots of antioxidants as well as fiber and can not only protect against future disease, but can promote healthy conception.

Some Fats are Necessary to Fertility

Despite America's obsession with low-fat, your body needs specific types of fat in order to produce hormones, and we need a certain amount of cholesterol in order to produce progesterone. If you are on a severely fat-restricted diet, your hormones may be unable to balance out sufficiently to promote healthy conception. Skip the vegetable oils such as corn, canola and soy, and try to consume moderate amounts of olive oil, coconut oil and the fat in avocados-all healthy and necessary fats. Try to ensure that any meat you eat comes from animals which have not been hormone-injected-grass fed is even better.

What Foods Should I Avoid in Order to Get Pregnant?

Unfortunately, (because of our love affair with it) sugar is one of the very worst foods you can consume for your hormonal health. Sugar robs your body of the healthy nutrients as it is digested, and many of these nutrients are crucial to conception. Sugar also causes a blood sugar spike which in turn causes your body to release too much insulin. Insulin is a hormone, and the constant imbalance of insulin leads to chaos among your other hormones-which are critical to fertility.

Top Five Foods for Promoting Fertility

To recap: whole grains such as those found in brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain breads have much less of a negative effect on your insulin and blood sugar as the more refined carbohydrates do (white bread, white rice, bleached flour). Next, try to make the protein you consume come from beans, peas and peanuts rather than red meat and poultry. Full-fat dairy products improve ovulation, and contain calcium which is an important nutrient for successful fertility. Aim for one to two servings per day. Fresh fruits and vegetables give your body a healthy antioxidant boost, and oranges, strawberries and green leafy vegetables are also high in folate which is important both in getting pregnant and in having a healthy baby. Finally, stay away from unhealthy trans fats and aim for healthy omega-3 fatty acids found in avocados, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sardines and salmon. What you put into your body can have a huge impact on your fertility, so start now to create a healthy atmosphere for conception.

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